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BizReport : Internet : May 03, 2013

How to improve your brand's online security

Requiring longer passwords that contain upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols can make them nearly impossible to crack, but many employees aren't following this simple rule. And many businesses don't have systems in place to ensure passwords are hard to crack. Here's how your business can improve password security:

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What can a business do to ensure passwords are regularly updated?

Bill Carey, Vice President of Marketing/Business Development, Siber Systems: You can tackle that challenge by giving employees the training and resources they need to manage their passwords effectively. Training sessions can be formal or informal - the important thing is to pass along tips that employees can start using immediately. Don't overlook commonsense suggestions, like not using the names of sports teams, pets or children as a password: This is a surprisingly prevalent practice even among tech-savvy staff, and hackers can use social media sites to quickly find this information and breach business data protections.

Kristina: How can businesses improve their employees' online security - thereby protecting their systems - during work hours?

Bill: There are a number of techniques employees can use to create strong passwords containing numbers as well as upper and lowercase letters that are nonetheless easy to remember. For example, employees can incorporate letters that resemble numbers into the mix, such as "G00dn19ht" for "Goodnight."
• Keyboard mapping, in which employees choose an easy-to-recall password and let an adjacent key represent each character. For instance, if the key above and to the left of each character in the word "rooster" were used in a keyboard mapping strategy, the password would be written as "499w534."
• Hold your employees accountable. All the training in the world won't help if employees don't adopt better password and data security habits in their daily operations. Consider putting a formal cyber security policy in place. Specify best practices that you expect employees to follow, such as using strong passwords, logging off of unattended PCs, placing secure passwords on mobile devices, etc.

You can read about how brands and employees are failing at online security here.

Tags: business password tips, online security, password security, Siber Systems

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